A Tribute to our President Mr. Naushad Ali on receiving the Padma Bhushan Award

       Naushad Ali is the undisputed doyen in the field of film music today born on 25th December 1919 in the erstwhile princely state of Awadh now known as Lukhnow; He showed no interest in formal schooling, and after high school, he left formal education in quest of music -the focus of his life. In his early days he attempted the establishment of independent music companies like the 'Windsor Group' to give some clear expression and direction to his pursuits and talents.

       In 1937, he came to Bombay and after a long struggle, established his reputation as a capable composer in the world of Hindi films. His illustrious career started as assistant music director with his first successful film 'Mirza Sahib' in Punjabi. Success came around 1942 with the film 'Station Master' but with the resounding success of his first musical blockbuster 'Ratan' in 1944-45, he established his solid reputation as a composer of extraordinary talents. The reason of the film song's popularity was his unique use of folk tunes. After 'Ratan' his name began be counted among the top music directors of the film industry.

       In his early career, he began composing music mainly for Kardar and Mahboob productions, like Anmol Ghadi, Jadoo, Dulari, Dastan, Anokhi Ada, Andaz, Aan, Amar and Mother India. Every film among these has been privileged to be either a silver, gold or platinum jubilee success. Through the film 'Baiju Bawara' he introduced Hindustani classical music to the cinema lovers and broke the myth that classical music could not appeal to the masses. It proved to be as popular as light music. This is a, historical milestone. In 'Baiju Bawara' he made innovative use of the voice and talents of reputed and famous classical singers like Pt. D. V. Paluskar and Amir Khan Sahab. He also gave a new identity to the voice of Mohammed Rafi (a close friend & associate of Naushad Ali) by exposing the talent in him. In Baiju Bawara and Mugai-E-Azam he experimented with the Bhajans and Qawalis to a mesmerizing effect. In films like Dastaan and Jadoo, he created a lovely effect by introducing choir and church music in the background. Thus, inspite of being a composer of a conservative mind, he has been keen on conducting experiments. With the film Aan, he became the first music director to use a hundred piece orchestra, while in the film Uran Khatola, he recorded an entire song without the use of orchestra. In this he replaced the sound of musical instruments with choral sound of humming.

       Naushad has presented a unique change in the exciting system of music recording. He was the first composer to have developed the system of western notation in India. The notation for the music of the film Aan has been published in book form in London. He has the singular honour of having introduced for the first the voice of 8 top singers, among which the names of Suraiya, Umadevi, and Mahendra Kapoor are mentionable. He has been the first composer to understand an emphasize the importance of background music, and has made effective and influential use of it. Naushad has been greatly responsible in tuning the voice of Lata Mangeshkar, and it is no coincidence that his tunes occupy the upper part of Lata's long list in terms of popularity and artistry.

       Naushad's music shows an influence of Hindustani Lok Sangeet in that it assumes a new form after its fusion with classical music. The influence of the spirit of Indian Culture has been spontaneous in his work. He has always made his impact felt in a wide range of voices, like Zohrabai, Noorjehan, Shamshad, and Lata Mangeshkar. He has given new orientation to the voices of K. L. Saigal, Talat Mehmood, Mukesh and Mohammed Rafi.

       Naushad has in his music compositions, along with his tunes given equal importance to the poetry and its meaning. His music highlights and enhances the beauty and sweetness of poetry.

       Naushad has created and established a culture through a unique combination of folk and classical music on one hand and Hindustani and western music on the other. The impact of his music is seen for over four decades. He has been leading an active and creative life for over a period of 7 years. His name is leading among those few chosen music directors who have given a serious and meaningful nature to film music, and brought recognition and respect to it.

       Though he has lived in a world of films, he has never made himself a victim of commercial compromises. He has received popularity and demand entirely on his own terms, which is why his journey has been slow but extremely steady. The variety, versatility and continuos change has been a hallmark rarely found in the work of other composer.

       For his tradition of excellence in creativity and integrity he has been the recipient of many awards and honours prominent among them being the nations highest award in films. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1982, the L. M. Award the M. P. Government in 1984, and Amir Khusro award in 1987, Maharashtra Gaurav Puruskar and now the Padma Bhushan.

       Out of 65 films of his music - 9 are Golden Jubilee, 3 are Platinum Jubilee and 26 Silver Jubilee successes. 5 films have been made on his life and work Naushad Ka Sangeet, Sangeet Ka Badshah, Naushad (T. V.) 1972, Biography-by Doordarshan; B. C. LONDON T. V. 's Movie Mahal Naushad, and T. V. Serial 'Zinda Ka Safer Biographical books published are Dastaan-E-Naushad (Marathi); Aaj Awat Man Mero (Gujarati); Hindi and Urdu biographical sketches in Shama & Sushma Magazines respectively, titled Naushad Ki Kahani, Naushad Ki Zubani.

       At present, he is holding the post of President of Cine Music Directors Association, Chairman of Indian Performing Rights Society, the title of Special Executive Magistrate, Bombay, President of Maharashtra State Angling Association, President of Alam-E-Urdu Conference (Delhi).

       To us at the Maharashtra State Angling Association, Naushad is also known for his love of Angling and the Beauty of Nature. As he has said to us "It is in the beautiful setting of Powai Lake with its Trees, Birds and Butterflies that I have often got my inspiration for some of my best works. I hope that Powai will always remain. It is one of the last few beautiful spots left in Bombay and I am proud to be the President of MSAA which is working hard to preserve its waters and aquatic life.

       Mr. Naushad Ali joined the MSAA in 1959. He has been a dedicated angler ever since and has some prized Catches to his credit. In 1962 Naushadsahab as he is affectionately known caught his largest fish a 52 lb. CATLA. "It took me nearly s the one hour to land this giant. It was one of the greatest thrills I have experienced".

       When Naushad was much younger he used to fish at Powai Lake with such greats as the late Shakeel Badaiyuni poet and song writer and Majrooh Sultanpuri outstanding poet both of whom were also keen Anglers. Naushadsahib still is a regular visitor to Powai. "My sons Mati-ur-Rehman, Raju and Iqbal have been coming to Powai with me since they were children and they have grown up with the same love for Powai that I have. In fact, my entire family of three generations comes to Powai to experience its beauty."

       This year Mr. Naushad has received the Padma Bhushan Award from the Government of India and we honour him as our President.

       His son Raju tells us that just a few weeks ago the President of India has conferred another National honour on him by nominating him for the Sangeet Natya Academy Award.

       Naushadsahib is a true President, he is always ready to help and encourage us in our work. When needs be, he accompanies us personally to Meetings with important Government Bodies in Bombay with whom we interact to further our cause.

       We salute and felicitate Mr. Naushad and hope to have him as President with us for many more years.


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